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Old 02-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #91
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The Adventure Begins... Chiclayo... A Biker And Brujos


From Piura I rode south and entered the desert.

There were miles and miles where it was just flat.

And there were a few areas with low lying brush.

The next town that I stopped in was the mid sized town of Chiclayo.

As I was pulling up to a hotel, another adventure motorcyclist named Kevin pulled up on his KLR650. We ended up getting a bite to eat and hanging out a bit.

I visited the Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan. They would not allow me to take a camera inside so I don't have any photos to show you. However the museum had a nice display about the excavation of tombs of the Lord of Sipan.

I wanted to check out the local market where I had heard they had a little bit of everything.

From shoes...

To toys...

To birds...

To this...El Mercado de Brujos (Witch's Market).

It is a supply center for shamans. I struck up a conversation with one of the vendors who said that he was a shaman.

The stalls had all kinds of herbs, potions and instruments...

Potions...

Powders and stones...

Shells...

Eggs...

Animal pelts...

Voodoo dolls...

And other tools of the trade.

I actually got a little creeped out by this stuff. I don't believe that this shaman stuff has any real power over me. But, I was definitely saying my own prayers of protection. After seeing what I wanted to see I took off.

For the full story visit Chiclayo
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:42 PM   #92
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The Adventure Begins... Riding Through The Peruvian Desert


From Huanchaco I traveled to Lima.

Through the desert...

The sands were still, but the wind was stirring.

There were sand dunes the size of mountains.

It was a vast distance to cover.

Emi handled it well.

I came across this oasis of a town along the coast call Tortugas and took a break for lunch

There were some twisty parts.

But for the most part, it was long and strait.

Passed by some unknown ruins.

Passed by some farm land.

And as I neared Lima there were fields of sugar cane.

For the full story visit Peruvian Desert
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:45 PM   #93
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The Adventure Begins... Lima... Food, Art and Blowing My Own Horn

I did not spend much time in Lima.

Just enough time to try these sandwiches and milk shakes at a sidewalk cafe called La Lucha.

Checked out some street art at Parque Kennedy.

And replaced the horn on my motorcycle that unfortunately stopped functioning while I was navigating through traffic in Lima.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:52 PM   #94
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The Adventure Begins... Huacachina...A True Oasis


I found a true oasis in the desert.

There was this little town called Huacachina.

There were a few structure built in colonial style...

That surrounded a laguana.

And just outside of the town was a huge sand dune that was probably over 500 feet in altitude.

While I was in Huacachina, a group of three adventure motorcyclists pulled up. They were riding a KTM990, BMW1100 and a DR650.

The DR650 had a 10 gallon monster gas tank. Pretty cool.

For the full story visit Huacachina
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:02 PM   #95
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The Adventure Begins... Chala... Between A Desert And A River


I left Huacachina and headed toward Arequipa.

Along the way, I met a fellow adventure motorcyclist from Paraquay who was riding a BMW1200.

Outside of the town of Nasca I passed by the Nasca Lines.

I believe that these lines represented a tree.

I stopped overnight at a town called Chala that had this nice view of the ocean.

I continued on the next day through some pretty rustic looking areas.

And I passed by some beautiful beaches with a raging surf.

Until I came across this river.

Buses and large trucks were crossing the river, but the cars that tried to cross got flooded and stalled. I thought about riding or pushing my motorcycle across, but then came up with an alternative.

I rode back up the line of waiting trucks and found an empty one. I asked the driver if he would carry me across. He agreed. I recruited four bystanders to help me load my bike into the back of the truck. Then we road across the river.

On the other side of the river, the truck driver pulled up to a sand embankment and I rode my bike off the back of the truck. I kept my bike and my boots dry.

Then it was a little more riding through the desert to the town of Arequipa.

The next day I took a little day trip to the mountains.

I passed through some desert area.

I came across this sign...

Which was a warning to look out for vicuña.
Vicuña are an endangered species that are related to llamas and alpacas.

I saw a number of vicuña run across the road, so I pulled over and snapped this photo.

I continued riding and came upon these snow covered mountains.

Desert riding and mountain scenary... what else could I ask for.

Certainly made for some fun riding.

Here is a short 3 minute video about crossing the river. There were a number of people along the banks watching as trucks passed through the water. At about the 1:50 minute into the video you may notice a few cars that attempted to cross the river and were stalled. I shot this video on my iPhone.

For the full story visit Crossing A River
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:04 AM   #96
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The Adventure Begins... How Can Ceviche Be So Good And So Bad


I ate this seafood ceviche from a restaurant in Arequipa called Cevichería Fory Fay. The ceviche had fish, squid, shrimp, onions, mushrooms and sweet potato. It was so good. But it was also so bad. About an hour after eating it I had an allergic reaction and broke out with a rash of hives.

Many years ago I had a similar reaction, so I wasn't worried and I knew what to do. I made a quick trip to the pharmacy and bought some benedryl. After some time the inching and hives stopped and I returned to normal.

Totally worth it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:11 AM   #97
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The Adventure Begins... Arequipa and Some Bike Maintenance

I had logged 10,000 miles on my bike and felt like it was time for a little maintenance.

Emi was coughing a bit. I wasn't sure if it was because of the altitude, bad gas, spark plugs or a dirty carburetor.

I rode around town and asked a few people about where I might be able to find a good taller (workshop).



I was directed to this workshop operated by a guy named Lucho. There was a Honda XR650 and Kawasaki KLR650 parked outside. I took this as a good indication that they knew how to work on large bikes from Japan. They said that they couldn't work on my bike on Friday, but that they could make an appointment for me on Monday at 8am. And they said that they could perform a complete tune up and obtain all the needed parts for my bike... oil, lube, filters, spark plugs, chain and sprockets. Great news!

It would be two days of waiting, but if they could provide all the right parts it sounded like a good deal.

On Monday, I arrived at the shop at 8am. Well, the shop wasn't open and nobody was around. I waited.

See Video

The shop was on a street that was right in front of this raging river. Was this some kind of omen? It is the rainy season and it had been raining in the mountains and in the city every day since I was in Arequipa. Needless to say I was a little concerned that if I left my bike at this shop and the river overflowed it's bank, that my bike would be flooded or washed away.

I asked a policeman that was patrolling nearby and watching the river conditions if he had any reports as to if the river was going to overflow. He said that it was possible and that he was on guard as a precaution in case an evacuation would be necessary. Not comforting.

Anyways, the shop finally opened at around 9am. They started working on my bike at around 9:30. I did not have anything to do other than to ensure that my bike was worked on properly and that the work was completed before the river overflowed, so I stayed and watched while they worked on my bike.

For some reason the mechanic worked really slooooow. And, it turned out that they could not obtain the correct filter, nor spark plugs, nor chain, nor sprockets. Luckily I had a spare filter and spark plugs. The rest of the maintenance would have to wait until I arrived in Chile.

We cleaned out the carburetor, changed the spark plugs, put in higher octane gas, adjusted the idle a bit, changed the oil, installed a new oil filter, cleaned out the air filter, lubed the axle bearings and lubed the chain.



Lucho did teach me how to change the jet of the carb for high or low altitude. It was the first time that I'd personally cracked open and worked on my carburetor, so I appreciated the lesson. I did the work myself so that I'd know how to do it in the future. Monkey see, monkey do.

It took all day to complete the work. By the time we finished the sun had already set and it had started to rain. I took Emi out for a test ride. She seemed to like the tender loving care.

I had mixed feelings about this workshop. It seemed as if I had to direct much if the work, they worked really slow and they did not have many of the critical parts that they promised they would provide. The positive points were that they did let me oversee the work and showed me how to crack open my carburetor.

I felt like I was at least half prepared to begin some long days of riding through the desert.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:20 AM   #98
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The Adventure Begins... Peru to Chile

From Arequipa, Peru I traveled to Arica, Chile. I left early because it looked like it might be a full day of riding.



I picked up a few supplies because I knew that I'd be riding through the desert for most of the day. An orange juice, saltine crackers and chocolate cookies.

I passed by desert dunes...

Coastal beaches...

Rock formations.

Along the way I met a fellow adventure motorcyclist from Argentina named Alejandro riding a Honda Falcon NX400. I really like the styling of the NX400. I wish that Honda sold the bike in the states.

Alejandro passed me, then I passed him, then at an overlook we pulled over and started chatting.

He had a pretty nice hard case setup on his bike. Turns out that he made it himself. Also he build a pretty sweet tool tube that fit opposite his muffler. I asked him if he was an engineer and sure enough he was. I have a number of engineering friends and you can always tell the work of an engineer.

We seemed to have a similar riding pace... so on we rode.

We exited Peru with ease.

We entered Chile with ease.

Looking back...

Looking forward...

Simply amazing views all around.

For the full story visit Peru to Chile
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:32 AM   #99
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The Adventure Begins... Burning Rubber Across The Atacama Desert


The northern part of Chile has some amazing scenery... that is if you like the desert.

The desert in northern Chile is known as the Atacama... it is on record as being the driest place in the world.

I don't know why, but I've grown rather fond of riding in the desert. I like the smooth subtle colors and shapes...dunes, sand, rocks, shrubs...earth tones.

And then there is the sky. The sky is blue...always...and it stretches from end to end... blanketing the horizon. There are few clouds...the forecast...little chance of rain. It is the same yesterday...today...tomorrow.

The smooth shapes seem to be formed by the sun and wind. Large formations like mountains, valleys and canyons formed over thousands of years by erosion, expansion and contraction.

Other formations like dunes seem to change before my eyes... growing, shrinking, moving.

It was subtle...

It was dramatic...

And harsh at the same time.

The elements of the desert were all very similar, but the alchemy of it all was kaleidoscopic.

Alejandro and I decided to ride together until he would go his way and I would go my way. We covered some good distance each day...500km...600km.

There were some long stretches of emptiness between the towns in the Atacama. It was nice having a partner along for the ride.

The towns that we stayed in were a blur...resting places...the goal was to ride...to reach the other side.

Arica


Have a BIG Coke and a Big smile

Tocopilla


Tocopilla street dogs...there were lots of them

Chanaral


El Mano del Desierto (The Desert Hand) is a big sculpture in the desert

A BIG stone sculpture

La Serena


In La Serena, Alejandro and I parted ways. He would cut across east to San Juan, Mendoza, San Rafeal...Argentina...for him...home.

I really enjoyed riding alongside Alejandro. A true gentleman adventurer...cultured, curious and moving forward. I hope to see him again down the road.

I would continue south to Santiago.

For the full story visit Burning Rubber
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:41 AM   #100
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The Adventure Begins... Santiago City Walk

See Video

Red, White and Blue with a Lone Star... but it is far from Texas.

It's the Santiago historical district

Passageway in the Bellas Artes district

Painting the town red

Plaza de Armas (Central Park)

Statue of Pedro de Valdivia, founder of Santiago

A day in the park

Bolsa de Chile (Stock Exchange of Chile)

Palacio La Moneda...the presidential palace

Palace Guards

Museo La Moneda

Correos (Post Office)

Museo Historico Nacional

Sculpture by Enrique Villalobos...a tribute to indigenous people.

Sculpture of Salvador Allende...politician.

Opera house

Casa Roja

For the full story visit Santiago City Walk

Location:Santiago, Chile
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:46 AM   #101
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The Adventure Begins... Out On The Town...Santiago

See Video

In the morning, I was walking through the Plaza de Armas (Central Park) and saw a crowd of people huddled around something. I decided that I should check it out. Watch the short video to see what it was.

For lunch, I went to the W hotel and had lunch with my friend Rodrigo who works with a money management firm in Santiago called Capital Advisors. He treated me to a nice meal... I owe you one Rodrigo.

Later that evening these lovely ladies invited me to diner at a restaurant called Tiramisu. How could I resist? Megan (Colorado), Jessie (Buenos Aires) and Lucila (Buenos Aires).

Afterwards we went for drinks. Megan and Jessie got comfortable in these comfy chairs.

Lucila and Megan made life imitate art.

I just kicked back and thought... I'm a lucky guy.

Good times... with good folks.

For the full story visit Out On The Town
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:53 AM   #102
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The Adventure Begins... South Bound From Santiago

In Santiago I picked up some parts for Emi... extra spark plugs, chain and some lube. I still was unable to find new sprockets. I checked three Suzuki dealers, but none of them had the parts in stock. I'm thinking that I may order them online and have them delivered somewhere along my route.

I was hoping to make it to Tierra Del Fuego before the winter sets in. It is usually okay in March, but the weather starts to change in April, so I hear. Cold and rain... I can tolerate it... snow and ice... I think not.

There had been some road blockades and gas shortages in the southern part of Chile due to some protests. I wasn't sure if I would be able to travel through the Lake District where the problems were taking place... but I sort of had a plan.

Unfortunately, I got a late start. I headed south through part of the Chilean wine country. As I rode along the highway through the vinyards I could smell the grapes. Intoxicating. I really wanted to stop and visit some of the vineyards, but I needed to make some distance. I'll have to come back when I have more time.

I rode until the sun began to set. Then I pulled into a town called Linares. Nothing of great interest around... so I asked a police officer where I might be able to stay the night... I was hoping to camp.

He said that it would be okay to camp in the park in front of their office. Sounded good and safe. It was late, so I didn't put up a fight... I just put up my makeshift tent...a ground cover and an lean-to cover hooked to the back of Emi... and laid down for the night.

I got up early the next morning and rode to the town of Pucon. Pucon is known as a adventure tourist town that is overshadowed by a volcano and surrounded by hot springs. Many people climb the volcano, mountain bike the hills and paddle the rivers. In the winter there is skiing. I didn't feel like I had time to enjoy it all. I was being called south. However, in the evening, I was able to visit the hot springs.

From Pucon I traveled to Puerto Montt. From Santiago to Puerto Montt was about 1300 km. Not bad for 3 days of riding.

Puerto Montt is a seaside town that has an active seafood market and...

This...NAVIMAG! NAVIMAG is a ferry that travels from Puerto Montt (Central Chile) to Puerto Natales (Southern Chile). For some reason I like saying NAVIMAG... it just rolls off my tongue.

The journey takes 3 nights and 4 days and is suppose to be pretty scenic. BBC Travel and Leisure sites the NAVIMAG voyage as one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world. I thought that I should check it out... it might actually be good, save me some time, save me some wear and tear on Emi and most importantly... get me around the gas shortage areas in the Lake District. I'm hoping that I can revisit the Lake District later... after the protests, blockades and gas shortage situation are resolved. I can't take credit for this idea... my friend Rodrigo suggested the route.

So I booked a trip on the Navimag. Me as a passenger. Emi as cargo. We would set sail in 3 days.

For the full story visit Southbound
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:22 AM   #103
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The Adventure Begins... Puerto Montt and More Motorcycle Maintenance

The NAVIMAG ferry was not leaving for 3 days. I decided to check around Puerto Montt for some motorcycle maintenance.

Turns out there was a Suzuki dealer and workshop in Puerto Montt. I took Emi in for an oil change, filter change, lube and valve timing.

I've never done a valve timing, but I watched the mechanic as he did the work. Seems pretty simple. I'll have to try it some day.

I also asked the mechanic to add a carb drainage tube and adjust the idle a little. Emi had been running a little rough. He did it and showed me how to do it. Now I know.

I didn't feel like staying in Puerto Montt for three days, so I decided to visit a town just north called Puerto Varas.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:34 AM   #104
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The Adventure Begins... Puerto Varas and Frutillar



I stopped by the lakeside town of Puerto Varas. It's a small to midsize town surrounded by hill country and a few volcanos.



I'm not much of a shopper, but the town happened to have stores by some of my favorite brands. The North Face... Salomon...



And Orvis.

I did not buy anything from TNF or Salomon, but I could not resist picking up a new fly reel from Orvis. This is Southern Chile and I'd soon be traveling to Patagonia. Some world class trout fishing is available in the rivers in the area. I could not pass up the opportunity. I have not bought many souvenirs on this trip, so I thought that a nice reel would be an excellent souvenir, especially if I wound up catching a memorable fish.

A simple but bare necessity.




I met a fellow traveler named Eva from Germany and we decided to check out some of the sites.



We made a side trip a town on the other side of the lake called Fruitillar. It's a town that was established by German settlers and it was easy to see the influence in the architecture and food.



We visited the Museo Colonial Aleman (German Colonial Museam).



There were some buildings that demonstrated how the German settlers lived during the colonization of the area.



A dining room.



A blacksmith shop and stable.

See Video

A water powered mill.



Ahh... fresh spring water.

I learned a new German word...kuchen (cake). I found a bakery that had a raspberry meringue kuchen. I ordered it...ate it... and it was gut (good).

For the full story visit Puerto Varas
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:27 AM   #105
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The Adventure Begins... Fly Fishing The Rio Hueno Hueno

When I was visiting the Orvis store I inquired with the shop manager where I should try out my new reel.



He directed me to the Rio Hueno Hueno. It was about a 40km ride east of Puerto Varas. I was hoping that the Rio Hueno Hueno would be bueno bueno.



It had been raining quite a bit over the past few days. Upon my arrival I noticed that the river was quite high and the current was running rather fast.



Near a bridge and down an embankment I found a nice little spot to park Emi.



I prepped my rod and reel.




Then I set off and hiked maybe a quarter mile down the river bank.



I was the first person on the river...not a soul around.

See video

I found a nice piste and started to fish. Magical.

As I mentioned before, the river was high and the current was running fast. Not ideal conditions for trout fishing. Ends up that I could not spot nor catch any fish. Still the endeavor was worthwhile. The ride to the river was fun. The area around the river was beautiful. The weather was cooperating with partly sunny and partly cloudy skies. Just a wonderful day.



As consolation, there were a number of raspberry bushes along the banks of the river. I ate my fill.

I returned to Puerto Varas in the early afternoon. After a taste of fly fishing in Chile...I knew I wanted more.
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